Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013


Guest Post by Jordan River



The fragrance world lost a cherished luminary in 2013. Perfumer and fragrance visionary Sandrine Videault passed away on July 3rd last year. Today we remember not only her amazing fragrances, but her touching, inspiring words.


Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013

Sandrine studied perfumery under Edmond Roudnitska. Her final perfume is Magnolia Grandiflora, which she worked on with floral artisan Saskia Havekes. This extraordinary fragrance has been highly anticipated by the fragrance community and was launched this month on Lucky Scent.

Magnolia Grandiflora Bottle Hero

Magnolia Grandiflora
Perfumer: Sandrine Videault
Release Date: August 2013
Classification: Soliflore
EDP 100ml
Recommended Retail Price: $185 AUD / $168 EUR

Top citrus, grapefruit, pepper
Heart dry woods, fresh garden accord,
Drydown marine, musk

Grandiflora Arrangements cover


Many flowers today are bred to be beautiful but not necessarily fragrant. Saskia has sources for particularly fragrant flowers which she artfully combines with beautifully bred ones for a scented atmosphere with visual delights. Photographing nature is also a passion. Grandiflora is the name of Saskia’s atelier in Potts Point.

Saskia outside Grandiflora, her atelier in Potts Point, Sydney.

The story of this fragrance begins millions of years ago, before humans or many other creatures we know today existed. The ancient genus Magnolia appeared before bees did, and pollination occurred thanks to the help of beetles. The tree adapted to the strength of its hardworking pollinators, resulting in the longevity of this beautiful, fragrant tree.

The magnolia is a true sight to behold – tall trees mantled with startling blossoms come to life in the springtime, shrouding surrounding areas in a fragrance known to this earth for more than 20 million years. The magnolia’s timber is heavy and robust, and the flower has continued to bloom and burst with lush fragrance across the ages, yet the flowers fade so fast. To hold magnolia’s fragrance is a kind of magical blessing.

Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine Magnolia WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Many of us will remember Sandrine through the tropical intensity of Manoumalia. In the Pacific tourists are often charmed by the scent of the local manoi oils which are used for tanning, moisturising skin and hair as well as for bath and massage oil. Manoi oil is coconut oil usually blended with the Tahitian gardenia known as Tiare but also with frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla, in an enfleurage type process. Coconut oil is the carrier fat for the scent. Unfortunately when these oils leave the tropics the scent changes to ‘off’ or more precisely, indolic at the unpleasant end of the spectrum. The amazingness of Manoumalia is how Sandrine captured the heady lush scent of The Perfume Tree (Fragrea), Tiare, Ylang Ylang, Amber, Vetiver and Sandalwood within a perfume that could then be enjoyed anywhere in the world like an instant tropical holiday. Truly an expression of the art of perfumery.

Her other notable works – Ambre Indien by Esteban, Violeta by Les Néréides, and the recreation of the ancient Egyptian Kyphi live on in the hearts and minds of those of us grieving her passing.

Sandrine lived in New Caledonia and loved working in her creative laboratory in Noumea. In an interview with Perfumes, Trends and Inspirations, she said:

“Avoir son lieu de création près de Dame Nature est un cadeau”
(“Having a place of creation near Mother Nature is a gift”)

In an interview with Perfume Shrine, she said living in New Caledonia connected her with her roots.

“I feel more beaming or blooming and I am more serene. If something is wrong inside of you then you won’t create with harmony. You can not cheat with perfume authoring. States of mind come to light in perfume authoring. Bad moods are forbidden. Moreover, New Caledonia with its nature and ethnic groups is a mine of inspiration for me.”

Sandrine was both a perfume visionary and a woman wise beyond her years. She will be remembered for the scents she created and the words she left behind. May we now cherish the gifts she has left behind, and learn from the lessons she sought to teach.

“The most important lesson…..that we know nothing! So many things left to learn, to discover, to live.”

© AFP Photo/Marc Le Chelard

© AFP Photo/Marc Le Chelard

Farewell Sandrine, you will be missed.

Further Reading
Grain de Musc – Manoumalia
Perfume Shrine – Manoumalia
Perfume Shrine – Interview with Sandrine
The Fragrant Man – Magnolia Grandiflora

In Memory of Sandrine Videault
Grain de Musc
Olfactoria’s Travels
Perfume Shrine – poetry
The Scented Salamander

Grain de Musc – Two Magnolias will blossom in January 2014 at Grandiflora

13 thoughts on “Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013

  1. Hey Jordan,

    I was extremely lucky and got to sniff this and the Michel one too on the weekend.

    Both of them completely blew me away. The Sandrine one has a wonderfully bizarre marine element.

    The packaging is also stupendous. I can see myself getting at least one.



  2. I got to smell both of them, they are both lovely and quite different. Sandrine’s was more subtle on me, more fresh and less projection. Michel’s was stronger and more overtly floral. Both very nice additions to the perfume world!


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